Notes: McCullough to start Aug. 16, football ticket sales on rise

The Florida State University Athletics Association held its June meeting on Wednesday. Below are some highlights from the meeting that apply to FSU athletics, boosters and the university:

President John Thrasher announced that president-elect Richard McCullough would start at FSU on Aug. 16. McCullough has been holding meetings with various FSU administrators as well as those in athletics as he makes the transition to his new role. McCullough’s contract will be voted on as part of the FSU Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday.

Football ticket sales are ahead of the June 2020 pace. Seminole Boosters CEO Michael Alford said FSU has sold 25,600 season tickets, which is about 3,000 ahead of last year at this time. Skyboxes are sold out for the fall. (No update was provided specific to the Champions Club.) The renewal rate overall has been high and more phone calls are going out this summer, Alford said. Single-game tickets as well as tickets to the general public will come later this summer.

Alford said Seminole Boosters now have 10,300 members and are aiming for 13,000, adding about 2,000 new members since his arrival in Sept. 2020. He said the boosters have done this by emphasizing benefits of booster membership and not just football ticket packages. Increasing booster membership has been a goal of Alford’s. He said the boosters are at 96 percent of their revenue goal.

The boosters have raised roughly $110 million in commitments with $32.6 million received in payments toward the Unconquered Campaign, Alford said. The Unconquered Campaign includes the football operations building, renovations at the Donald L. Tucker Center, Dick Howser Stadium, the Seminole Legacy Golf Course, scholarships and other projects.

The boosters are planning on $6.8 million in facility improvements, including an update to the football tunnel where players run out to Bobby Bowden Field as well as scoreboards for softball and soccer. The scoreboards are approximately $1 million apiece.

Athletics department officials and boosters will again meet with members of the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency on Thursday to continue the request for $20 million for infrastructure improvements to Doak Campbell Stadium. FSU officials have pushed for the money due to the football program’s economic impact on local hotels, restaurants and businesses. Thrasher said he is optimistic FSU will receive the funding.

FSU’s winter and spring sports saw an impressive nine top-10 finishes nationally: Soccer and softball were national runners-up, beach volleyball and men’s golf took fifth, men’s indoor track took sixth, women’s tennis placed seventh, women’s golf took ninth, men’s outdoor track and field finished 10th, men’s basketball was in a 10th place tie. Women’s outdoor track and field was 14th and women’s cross country took 15th.

Super seniors — those who opt to return for a fifth or potentially a sixth season to FSU as part of NCAA-approved rules due to games lost from the pandemic — could result in an added $700,000 in scholarship costs for the athletics department if all of those who are eligible choose to do so. In the 2020-21 fiscal year, boosters and athletics created sport-specific campaigns to raise the added scholarship dollars.